Heritage-bred pigs have been in the USA for many years, even before the Great Depression. These breeds are raised close to nature and eat from the land, which results in excellent quality meat. But what are the reasons why Heritage breed pork is superior to other pork options?
Heritage breed pork is superior because of its dark red color, rich texture, excellent marbling, and it has a flavorful taste that is tender and juicy. The excellent meat is due to the pigs not being given any growth hormones or chemicals. They roam free and feed on nuts, fruit, and seasonal crops.
Read on to find out more about Heritage pork; is it healthy to eat, why is it superior, which pigs are Heritage breeds, and which is the best Heritage pork.
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Is Heritage Pork Better?
The pork from Heritage pigs is better than the pork from other factory-farmed pigs. Here are 4 reasons why Heritage pork is superior to other pork options.
Heritage Breed Pork Has A Higher Fat Content
Because Heritage pigs are raised on pastures or in shaded forests, they eat off the land in a more natural environment. The food that these pigs consume produces meat that has more fat which makes the meat moist and tasty. With the high-fat content, the chances of you overcooking the meat are much less than cooking the leaner factory-farmed pork.
Heritage Breed Pork Has No Preservatives
Farmers who breed Heritage pigs do not give them growth stimulants, artificial ingredients, antibiotics, or animal by-products.
The pigs are left to forage for food on the pastures or in the coolness of the forests. They eat seasonal fodder crops like legumes, herbs, beans, corn, pumpkins, and oats and forage for nuts and fruit from the forests. The pigs are usually rotated to fresh pastures every 2 to 3 days so that the pasture can rest and recover.
Heritage Breed Pork Has Superior Marbling And Taste
Because Heritage pigs are free to walk about, they are robust and healthy, so their meat is dark red with hard white fat hence the name marbling. Superior marbling results in tender and juicy meat for which Heritage pork is renowned.
Heritage Bred Pigs Are Humanely Raised
Unlike factory-farmed pigs raised under concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), Heritage bred hogs live off the land. The pregnant sows roam around the pastures and raise their young within family clusters.
The growing pigs grow up in the sunshine and feed off the land. Their environment is close to nature, they get enough exercise, and they grow up to be healthy and robust. Heritage pigs’ environment and eating habits have a favorable effect on the quality of their meat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although Heritage pork is renowned for its excellent taste and superb quality, there are still many aspects of this breed of pig that consumers are interested in. Below are some of the FAQs:
What Does Heritage Breed Mean?
Heritage breed means that these animals are hardy and live off the land. The bloodlines of heritage breeds can be traced back hundreds of years. Still, consumers are only now beginning to understand the quality of their meat.
Farmers who breed these pigs avoid using antibiotics, chemicals, and hormones. They trust the rich vegetarian diet and allow the pigs a free run in the pastures to raise a breed that will produce the best meat, bacon, and lard.
What Are The Most Well-Known Heritage Pig Breeds?
Well-known Heritage breeds are:
- Old Spot
- Large Black
Is Heritage Pork Good For You?
Healthy pigs, bred in the open air without any preservatives or growth hormones, will give you good, flavorful meat. Scientists have proven that meat from pigs fattened by foraging for food off the land produces meat high in protein with a good sprinkling of Omega-3 fatty acids, Oleic acid, Vitamins, and Minerals.
The meat from Heritage pigs is rich in micronutrients, particularly fat-soluble Vitamins E and D, and essential minerals like Selenium, Zinc, and Phosphorus. Heritage pork is also an outstanding source of iron. Other vitamins vital to the body, such as Vitamins B12, which is good for brain function, and Vitamin B6, which is important for healthy red blood cells, can be found in Heritage pork.
With all of the goodness described above, Heritage pork, when consumed in moderation, is an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
What Is The Best Heritage Pork?
The tastiest Heritage pork comes from the Berkshire breed. This breed is also known as the ‘black pig’ and has been the superior Heritage breed for over 400 years. It is renowned for its dark rich color and texture, excellent marbling, tenderness, juiciness, and bold and delicious flavor. Everyone is bowled over by the distinct taste and tenderness of Berkshire pork.
Why Should Farmers Breed Heritage Pigs?
Heritage pig breeds are descendent of some of the oldest breeds. Once these breeds die out, they are lost forever. Farmers must continue to breed Heritage pigs to help these breeds survive so we can conserve our agricultural legacy. Promoting and educating the consumer to keep buying Heritage pork is essential so that farmers can continue to produce this excellent quality meat.
How Are Heritage-Bred Pigs Better For The Environment?
Factory-farmed pigs produce a huge build-up of urine and manure, often stored in exposed air pits padded with plastic or in cheap and futile artificial lagoons. Spillages often pollute the groundwater, and the stench can be smelled miles away. But Heritage farmed pigs deposit their waste outdoors and throughout larger areas. The waste sustains the soil and does not taint water resources.
Heritage pork is superior to other pork options for its excellent texture, marbling, and delicious, flavorful, juicy, tender meat. Heritage pork is rich in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which, when eaten in moderation, is a good meat option for a healthy diet. Heritage pig breeds have been around for centuries, and the best breed is the Berkshire pig which is renowned for its superb meat.